This is 3: On Remembering Jaime

Last Friday night, which happened to be Good Friday, I was sitting alone with Stella on the couch in our living room. Charlie was helping our friends set up a new crib they had just been gifted, and Harvey was in bed when I decided to ask her some questions about her Auntie Jaime. She was only 27 months old when Jaime died, and we’ve been dreading the time that she would start to lose those memories, so we talk to her about Jaime as often as we can.


Hey Stella, do you remember the fun things you and Auntie Jaime used to do together?


Do you remember having dance parties? And swimming at the pool when she would twirl you really fast in circles?

Yeah, we played, and singed [sic], and danced, and we went on the back deck to look outside.

Those were fun times. Do you remember anything else?

I remember when Jaime died here. And she went to Heaven. Oh! Maybe next time I can take a plane to heaven and take Jaime back home where she belongs. Grandpa Gene flew up to heaven with her. And Jesus and God.

[more thinking by Stella]

…And we sit [sic] on the table outside, and we did EVERYTHING. That’s a lot of stuff that we did! [big smile]

Yep, you guys had a LOT of fun together. She loved you SO MUCH.

Mommy, can you show me how to type “I love Jaime” on the computer?

Sure kid…


It’s so hard to realize that she is already starting to make up the “memories” she is telling us about. I just really wish she could somehow remember the first two years of her life when they were so close and such good buddies, but we know that she most likely won’t remember those times at all. 🙁


  1. I’m so glad you have all these photos and videos. I have very few real memories of my brother and I was 19 when he died. I have 2 pictures of him from just before he died, and it just isn’t enough.

    Sending you all hugs hugs hugs. This is just hard. So hard. I am so sorry.

    1. Yeah, I have a ton of pics of them – I just picked a few for this post. Thankful for the photos at least to help keep her memory alive.

      I initially thought it’s crazy you have few memories of your brother, but then I realized I lost my BFF and cousin when he died when we were 18, and you’re right, I have very few memories of him anymore. Time is a funny thing like that; stealing our memories…

      1. Time is funny that way. In a bit so funny way. When one of my best friends died at 25, I went through all my photos and sorted out the ones Of her to put in a special place, as if I knew time would erase and I needed those memories close by. Thank god for photography. Even better for videos!

  2. Wow, those videos of Jaime pulled at my heartstrings. It’s tough. Every once in a while I’m mention my mom and say “grandma” or “nonnie” to the kids and they have no idea who I’m talking about. When I say that I’m referring to MY mommy I just get a blank stare. It’s heartbreaking. At least you do have these videos and photos, albeit too few for sure, to look back on.

    1. Oh Stephanie, I feel the same way when I talk with my girls about my brother. I’ll never be able to convey the *feeling* of him to my kids, even though they can now identify pictures of him.

  3. mcmissis · · Reply

    This post was heartbreaking. The way Stella looks at her in the first video is so special <3

    Also, I know this has NOTHING to do with the reason for the post, but her playing with Cheif is amazing!!! That is waaaay more attention that both of my dogs have paid all three of my girls combined. Ever. I'm like totally in awe 🙂

  4. Thank god for our photos and videos, huh? Matthew spent lots of time with my grandpa and loved him to pieces but he’ll never remember that. But I have pictures from each visit of them together, and that helps me remember the love they shared.

    Hearing Jaime’s voice was a little surprising to me. Hearing voices after they’re gone always rattles me a bit. I feel like looking at photos almost feels like they’re still here, but watching them move and hearing them talk really beats it in that they’re really gone. I don’t know. It was hard to watch, but I watched them all. 😊

    Matthew is now saying he remembers playing with puzzles with lily because we have pictures of him with her, playing with puzzles, that we show him. Same with how, “Lily cat used to sleep with me, remember, Mom?”. She only slept with him if I was beside her, and she never came in until he was completely asleep. The power of pictures and reminiscing. They’re powerful!

    All of your photos and videos will make her think she remembers Aunti Jaime, and that’s what matters. How many things do you remember from childhood and then wonder, ‘ do I think I remember since my parents have photos of it, or do I really remember?’. I’ve realized it does not matter, because as long as it’s in my memory, that’s what’s important!

    Hugs. I still think of you all every time I hear ‘ let her go.’

  5. lizr7108 · · Reply

    These videos are so sweet and seriously made me tear up. It’s so nice you have these videos to show Stella how special her bond with her aunt was, even if those memories fade for her. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This post is so sweet and sad at the same time. So thankful you have the videos to show Stella, even though she probably won’t retain the original memories. This really hit home for me- one of the things that makes me most fearful of Grayson potentially dying young is that his sister (and other sibling) won’t really remember him. I pray he will live for many years and this won’t be an issue, but it’s always in the back of my mind 🙁

  7. Oh, gut wrenching. This makes me so sad. I was just thinking about Stells recently wondering if she still had many memories of Jaime. Pretty soon she will be gone lover than she had time with Stella and that is so sad. Everleigh is 27 months now, so I can try and imagine the understanding Stella had of the situation then. So hard. I “remember” so many thigs from my own toddlerhood and my mom says it’s because I used to sit and look at the photo albums constantly as a kid. She swears my memories are just from seeing the photos, so keep the photos fresh in her mind, and pics in her room. Maybe make her an auntie Jamie memory printed shutterfly book for her book shelf or nightstand.

    1. Longer! Not lover. Eh.

    2. Oooh – I love this idea!

  8. I’m so glad you are a prolific photographer. These memories are there to always be cherished

  9. This made me so, so sad.

    In glad you have so many pictures and movies to show her when she’s older.

  10. I watched these videos and cried. So much love and such heartbreaking loss. I think that memories are as much the stories we tell as the original recollection (and I think science back me up here!), and it really is precious that Stella has these memories. Jaime will always be a real person to her; someone who really loves her for always.

  11. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.

    I can’t even watch the videos… I listened to a bit, but that’s all.


    Oh man, hug.

    It warms my heart when L remembers my Mom and talks about Nana. I think V was too, young. But I’m so far thankful for the stories L remembers.

  12. You know, I have a friend who’s Grandma passed away before she was born. She grew up “knowing her” through her Mom. Through stories, through everyday life. She told me after my Mom died that she ALWAYS felt close to her Grandma. That she can’t explain it; the she just ALWAYS has felt close to her.

    That gave me so much hope for my girls.

    Maybe it’ll be the same for Stella.

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